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Review: Sherlock Holmes: Crime Alleys

Review of Sherlock Holmes: Crime Alleys

sherlock holmes crime alleys graphic novelBefore the great Sherlock Holmes was hired as a “consulting detective” to Inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard, before he had roommate and chronicler Doctor John Watson to help him solve cases, Holmes was an eccentric bachelor who lived on Baker Street. But not alone. He shared his flat with young violin virtuoso Ron Janscher.

When Ron vanishes, however, Holmes has to cast a wide net to find out what’s happening and find his friend in the dark, criminal alleys of London. And the name that comes up again and again is Moriarty, both the son James and father Henry. Yes, that James Moriarty who becomes Holmes’ arch-nemesis, Professor Moriarty.

Sporadically helping Holmes as he unwinds the dark, nefarious storyline is the Inspector Pike of the Yard, though as is typical in a Sherlock Holmes story, they are as much clueless gits as they are truly helpful in the investigation.

To uncover Moriarty’s deeds, Holmes allows himself to be captured by the criminals and whisked away to their secret lair where strange deeds are indeed afoot. But there’s an even more sinister force behind the Moriarty’s control of the London underworld, a storyline that isn’t developed in this particular original story. A seed for the next installment of Cordurie’s annals? Perhaps, perhaps.

sherlock holmes crime alley detail panel

As originally conceived by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle back in the late 1800’s, the Holmes universe has been expanded and redefined time and again through movies, TV series, radio dramas, books and even comics and graphic novels. It leaves readers trying to puzzle out which famous actor portrayal of Holmes is the inspiration for the latest artist. Is it Jeremy Brett? Robert Downey Jr.? Or perhaps Benedict Cumberbatch? Or even the earliest success, Basil Rathbone?

Regardless of which actor you see in Nespolino’s portrayal of the famous consulting detective, he and Cordurié deliver a really solid story that fits neatly into the Doyle canon and is both visually and narratively compelling. A graphic novel well worth adding to the collection of any Holmesian!

Sherlock Holmes: Crime Alleys, written by Sylvain Cordurié, art by Alessandro Nespolino. colors by Axel Gonzalbo, cover by Ronan Toulhoat. Published by Dark Horse, Feb 3, 2016.

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